Parallel Giant Slalom (PGS)

The most notable change in this discipline happened in 2002, when the Giant Slalom discipline contested in 1998 changed to a dual event - the Parallel Giant Slalom. PGS features head-to-head competition. All competitors race against the clock in the qualification round and the fastest 16 racers advance to the elimination round. These 16 competitors battle it out on two, side-by-side courses. After run one, the riders switch courses and in run two, the gate of the person that won the first race opens first, equivalent to the amount of time they led by.

This ensures that the second run of each round really is a ‘first past the post’ race. The winner after the second race advances to repeat the process while the other heads to the stands to watch the outcome. Courses must have a minimum vertical drop of 200 meters and a maximum vertical drop of 400 meters. The course must be at least 30 meters wide. If two runs are set on the same slope the course must be at least 40 meters wide. A giant slalom gate consists of one stubby flex pole (turning pole) and one long slalom pole (outside pole) which are connected by a triangular gate flag.